In a previous post, I explained that big data is not just for big businesses. During a recent interview Ed Abrams discussed how mobile, social, and cloud are driving big data adoption among midsize businesses.
As Sharon Hurley Hall recently blogged, midsize businesses are adopting social for the simple reason “a significant proportion of your potential customers are online, and while there they could be buying your product or service.” She also makes a great point about social adoption not being only externally focused. “Social business technologies will improve internal communication and knowledge-sharing. The result is a better-informed and more engaged workforce, and the technology gives the ability to harness creativity and implement innovation to increase your competitive advantage.”
“Becoming more social,” Hall concluded, “doesn’t mean that employees waste time online; in fact, it means that everyone is better informed about both data and strategy, leading to business benefits. The combination of integrating social technologies to improve your operational efficiency and harnessing social data to boost your knowledge base means that your business can be more competitive and more profitable.”
Hall’s insights also exemplify the proper perspective for midsize businesses to use when adopting big data. No business of any size should adopt big data just because everyone is talking about it, nor simply because they think it might help their business.
As with everything in the business world, you should seek first to understand what big data adoption can offer, and what kind of investment it requires, before making any type of commitment. The best thing about big data for midsize businesses is that it provides a big list of possibilities. But trying to embrace all of the possibilities of big data would be a big mistake. Start small with big data. Smart big data adoption for midsize businesses means starting with well-defined, business-enhancing opportunities.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies, or opinions.